Keeping the Family Off the Couch

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Too often, we plan to spend quality time with those closest to us, but end up groaning “there’s nothing to do!” and giving up. So frequently we wish to occupy ourselves with something fun and valuable, but never seem to follow through because we can’t come to a consensus on what exactly we want to spend our time doing. Enough is enough!

One of the greatest contributors to weight gain is stagnancy. Try all you might to fight the urge to binge-watch a TV series, boredom inevitably leads to just that. Although nutrition is a key concept in weight loss, so is physical movement, which boredom tends to inhibit. When pursuing a weight loss goal, one of the best things you can do for yourself is get up off the couch! You don’t need to start training for a marathon or work out like an elite Cross-Fitter, you just need to get yourself moving.

There’s a huge stigma surrounding working out, but being active doesn’t have to mean going to the gym for an hour every day. Many people are off-put by the idea that living an active lifestyle means allocating a certain amount of time per day for vigorous physical exercise, meanwhile a true active lifestyle entails more so of doing little things throughout the day or week that add up. Being “active” is not synonymous with “gym membership,” (though that’s not a bad idea), it can mean doing just about anything that gets your heart rate significantly above what it’s at when you’re at rest.

Stop wishing, and start doing. It’s the little changes you make that really add up to something great. Forget the TV show, exploring one of the listed healthy living activities will not only get you up and moving, but bring value to your life a cable program cannot provide.

Visit local attractions
Tucson is absolutely swarming with enrichment experiences! From museums, to the science center, and even the zoo, there’s something for every taste. You’ll be so consumed with fascinating facts that you won’t even be aware of how many steps you’re racking up and calories you’re burning.

Sign up for some sort of lessons
It’s probably been a while since you were involved in a recreational sport of any kind, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pick it back up again. In fact, many sports leagues offer lessons for people of all levels and ages, adults included! Some places even offer family-oriented classes and workshops, giving you an excuse to get everyone moving along with you. Whether you choose to join an amateur adult swim class for fun or participate in a self-defense course for your own safety, both get your heart rate up and offer a sense of fulfillment.

Take road trips
You may be sitting in the car for a while, but your legs will be sore the next day from how much fun you have been having exploring shops, walking around, and just enjoying your surroundings! It’s nice to have a change of scenery every once in a while, and lucky for us, we have a few different options. From hiking trips to exploring the old mining town of Bisbee, or even touring the Kartchner Caverns, there’s always something new to discover.

Volunteer
It’s always a good time to give back to the community, and there are countless ways to do it, too. A quick google search will conjure up a mile-long list of organizations that love having the help of go-getter people like you. No matter your specialty or interest, you’re bound to find a perfect match.

Create a hike routine
We are surrounded by mountains – take advantage of it! Hiking is free, scenic, and easily customizable based on skill level and comfort, making it one of the most versatile hobbies you can take up. A common excuse for not going on hikes is the fact that by the time many of us get home it’s already dark, but evening hikes are just as beneficial! In fact, it’s cooler at night, so you may even prefer the cover of night.

Lake Trip
If you have a boat, or even a friend with one, plan to spend a day out on the water sometime! Enjoy the great outdoors by fishing, laughing, swimming, and just plain having a good time. Even if you don’t, lakes like Roper Lake near Safford, AZ or Patagonia Lake in Patagonia, AZ have several “beaches” perfectly suitable for a relaxing day out with friends or family. If you’re the type to do so, they offer some great camping grounds, as well.

*Individual results may vary. Seek medical advice before starting any service including a weight loss program or med spa treatment. Contact us to make sure this is the right solution for you.

Dr Kim: 5 Simple Ways to Start Over

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Written by: Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Kim Feinstein, Tucson Medical Weight Loss Behavioral Weight Loss Specialist 

If you have slipped up and are now focused on getting back on track, optimize your chances of reaching your goal and set yourself up for success with these 5 simple ways to reboot your weight loss journey!

1. Begin by setting one goal using the S.M.A.R.T format:
· Specific
- Ex. Nonspecific Goal: “This year I will start exercising.”
- Specific Goal: “This week I will walk at least two times for 30 minutes each time.”

· Measurable
- State your goal in terms of units that can be measured, minutes exercised, number of days you write down what you eat, amount of water drank, steps taken, etc.
- Make your goal measurable by asking yourself such questions as: How much? How many?

· Attainable
- Set a goal that is just a little bit more challenging than the previous one, but still able to be accomplished fairly readily.
- Example: “This week I will walk 5 minutes longer per session than last week.”

· Realistic
- Pick a goal that is realistic. This is extremely important because you do not want to set yourself up for failure. Use the reality check strategy. Ask yourself, “Would I expect a friend or family member to achieve the goal I set for myself?” If the answer is yes, you most likely set a realistic goal. If the answer is no, you may be setting an unrealistic goal for yourself. If your goal is unrealistic, just revise it until you feel it is realistic.

· Time-bound (deadline)
- Without a deadline, there is no sense of urgency. Thus, time limits motivate people to get the job done. If you want to lose 10 lbs., by when do you want to lose it? Stating “This year” will not work. However, if you create a timeframe, i.e., “by February 1st”, then you have set your mind into motion to begin working on the goal.

2. Tell supportive people about your plans
· People who are trying to lose weight often get better results if they have sources of support to help them deal with any issues that come up.
· Identify any people you think will be able to offer you support during the weight loss program and ask for their support and encouragement.

3. Make a list of the Pros and Cons of Changing
· What will change if I do nothing? What will I (or others) gain from doing this?
· What are the pros of changing/cons of not changing?

4. Create a positive and encouraging daily mantra
· Ex. I can do this, I am capable of losing weight, I choose to exercise
· Use positive and encouraging self talk – be your own cheer leader
· Write it down and remind yourself often

5. Just Do it!
· Stop wishing and start doing!
· Visualize your success daily
· If necessary, get the help you need to begin to take action.

If you are serious about your weight loss goals, there is no moment like the present to get started.  You know that you are going to feel so much better about yourself when you feel more disciplined and focused.  You can do this! I promise.

If you need extra support, schedule an individual counseling session with me so that I can help you break through your barriers and succeed once and for all!

*Individual results may vary. Seek medical advice before starting any service including a weight loss program or med spa treatment. Contact us to make sure this is the right solution for you.

Lapse vs. Relapse: What’s the Difference?

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Written by: Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Kim Feinstein, Tucson Medical Weight Loss Behavioral Weight Loss Specialist

What is a Lapse? 

lapse is when you eat off of your meal plan; however, you still manage to regain control over what you are doing.  A lapse is also referred to as a “slip.”

Example:

You arrive at work and someone brought in a box of doughnuts. You quickly eat one and then think, “I blew it.” Then, you say to yourself, “Since I already ate a doughnut, I might as well eat McDonalds for lunch.” However, when it is time for lunch you decide to eat the food you brought with you and you get right back on track. This is a lapse. It is important to know that a lapse will not cause you to gain back the weight you have lost. A lapse left unchecked, however, can grow into a relapse.

What is a Relapse?

A Relapse, on the other hand, is a process of gradual decline in function, which precedes or leads to the recurrence of your previous unhealthy, eating behaviors and related symptoms. No matter how hard you try, you are unable control your behavior. Eventually, you give up and stop trying.

Example:

One afternoon, you go to the bakery and buy a cake to share with your coworkers. You end up eating the whole cake in the car while driving to work. After finishing the cake you are angry with yourself and frustrated with your attempts to stop bingeing. You think, “Despite trying so hard these past few weeks, I am not able to stop bingeing, the treatment didn’t work, and what is the use?” “I will never be able to stop bingeing!” Over the next few weeks you binge eat often and end up with the same pattern of unhealthy behavior(s) as when you first began your diet. You have lost your motivation, your mood is low, you feel defeated, and you are out of control.

6 Step Plan for how to keep a lapse from becoming a relapse:

Step 1: Recognize that almost all people attempting to lose weight experience one. Lapses can and will be useful learning experiences. (See step 3)

Step 2: Resist the tendency to think negative thoughts and beat yourself up with harsh punishing words. You are not a failure if you experience a lapse; in fact, it’s normal!

Step 3: Use this opportunity to learn from the lapse.

· Was it a special occasion? Holiday? Celebration?
· Did you eat because of social pressure?
· Were you tired? Stressed? Angry?
· Craving comfort food?
· On vacation?

Review the situation and think about it neutrally. Then, plan a strategy for dealing more effectively with similar situations in the future.

Step 4: Regain control of your eating at the very next opportunity. Do not tell yourself, “Well, I blew it for the day,” and wait until the next day to get back on track. Getting back on track without delay is important in preventing lapses from becoming relapses.

Step 5: Talk to someone supportive or a trained weight loss specialist to discuss your new skills and strategies for handling lapses.

Step 6: Most importantly, remember you are making life-long changes. Weight loss is a journey with lots of decisions and choices every day that add up over time. Focus on all the positive changes you have made and realize that you can get back on track at any time. The decision is yours!

*Individual results may vary. Seek medical advice before starting any service including a weight loss program or med spa treatment. Contact us to make sure this is the right solution for you.

Goal Visualization

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At times, the light at the end of the tunnel can seem dim, too far away, or completely nonexistent. It’s easy to give up, it can be appealing to put an abrupt end to any struggle you’re going through. It’s easier to say “I can’t” than “I can” when times get tough, but persistence is key.

When giving up seems like the best option, it’s time to make a change. Even if you haven’t gotten to that point yet, reminding yourself of why you’re doing what your doing can help you keep yourself afloat throughout your journey. Consider implementing one or all of these options to keep yourself in check:

Buy a “goal” outfit

Cliché? Yes. Effective? Also Yes. Everyone’s seen the pictures – you know, the ones of someone who has lost a significant amount of weight trying on an old pair of their pants, stretching out the waistband to show how far they’ve come; it’s every dieter’s dream. The problem with accomplishing this, though, is that you no longer have pants to fit into after the fact!

Take the same concept, flip it around, and instead purchase a great outfit for yourself in your goal size. As you approach your goal, the outfit of your dreams will become closer and closer within reach, motivating you to keep moving forward.

Take a trip down memory lane

Revisit your high-school yearbook, photos from your wedding day, or from whenever you feel will be the most beneficial. Remind yourself of old times, of why you began your health transformation in the first place. Putting yourself into the same mindset you were in when you first started is a great way to get your mind back in the place that it needs to be.

Create a mood board

Whether it be virtual, through Pinterest, or a literal board of printouts and magazine cutouts, create something you can easily look back at in times you need motivation. Include quotes, ‘goal pictures,’ and symbols of things you want for yourself as a reminder of what you’re pursuing. Have fun with it! Motivating yourself doesn’t have to be a chore.

Make a list of milestones

Instead of moseying your way on through your weight loss journey, going where the wind takes you, set specific, attainable milestones for you to reach – essentially miniature goals. When you list out a handful of small goals, as opposed to looking at one ominous goal down the road, it’s easier to keep yourself on the straight and narrow. Additionally, doing this forces you to stay mindful and be realistic about the pace of your weight loss journey.

Identify a role model

No matter what your goal is, find somebody that embodies said goal – a fit person with similar values, someone who preaches practicing good health, etc. Whether it’s a good friend or someone you found on social media, it all works similarly. As you follow this individual, identify the qualities you share and the qualities the other person exclusively possesses, and mindfully bridge the gap between the two. Role models have the power to change our ways of thinking – choose a good one.

ake “visualize” literally

Picture yourself stepping on to the scale: As you wait for your weight to register, your hands grow clammy with situational anxiety. The digits fluctuate back and forth, teasing, making you rethink every poor meal decision you’ve ever made. Finally, your final measurement is taken, and you’ve done it! You’ve hit your goal weight! You gasp in excitement, and throw your hands up in glee. The moment you’ve been waiting for has finally come.

Visualizing the actual moment of success reaffirms desired outcomes and strengthens will to overcome adversity. The more vivid the visualization, the better, because you will realize how worth it the struggle really is.

*Individual results may vary. Seek medical advice before starting any service including a weight loss program or med spa treatment. Contact us to make sure this is the right solution for you.

How to get Back on Track after a Slip

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Written by: Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Kim Feinstein, Tucson Medical Weight Loss Behavioral Weight Loss Specialist

On January 1st you might’ve made your New Years resolution to lose weight. Beginning each day with enthusiasm and hope, you followed your meal plan, increased your water intake, began an exercise regimen, and avoided the temptation that seemed to lurk around every corner.

That first month, you were committed and enthusiastic about reaching your goals and ready to make changes! However, as the weeks and months progressed, frustration set in and your motivation diminished. You realized that weight loss efforts can be time consuming and tedious, and you started to feel the strain. Over time, you gave in to temptation and have been off track ever since. “I’ll start over again tomorrow” turned into “I’ll start next week, month, etc….”

Sadly, this is a common cycle. In fact, research demonstrates by the second week of February 80% of those with weight loss resolutions face the remorse of disappointment as they failed to achieve their goals.

Any time you relapse on your health journey, you are presented with two choices:

1.   To keep walking backwards, which will surely take you even further away from your goals; or

2.   Accept your lack of perfection as normal and forgivable, and take not one, but two positive steps down the path that brings you closer to the body and future you want.

You may have been walking backwards for a while, but instead of waiting for tomorrow, next Monday, or next month to overhaul your habits, start TODAY. Below are 5 steps to get back on track after a slip.

Step 1: Face the consequences
Let’s face it, you probably stopped weighing yourself once your indulgences began.  Now is the time to step on that scale and acknowledge the potential damage you did.

Step 2: Don’t beat yourself up
It happens! The damage is already done, so stop beating yourself up. In fact, research indicates that beating yourself up about past behavior is neither effective nor motivating. Calling yourself fat, disgusting, a failure, and/or other nasty names is truly a recipe for overeating and continued weight gain.

Step 3: Press your reset button
Now is the time to take a deep breath, relax, and press your reset button! Think of the image of a big red button inside your mind and picture yourself pressing it. You are now “re-booting” and starting your weight loss journey once again.

Step 4: Change your self-talk
I encourage you to begin to change your self-talk by being present and catching yourself next time you start the shame spiral. Picture a stop sign or a traffic light and stop your thoughts!  Begin to replace them with self-compassionate thoughts that make you feel more enthusiastic, motivated, and inspired.

Some examples include:
“Today is a new day”
“I can start over today”
“I am capable of losing weight.”
“I am back on track.”

Step 5: Get back to your routine as quickly as possible.

Get back to your old, effective routine! Do what works! The experts agree that routines can be both calming and important in getting back on track. Structure is key! If you create structure, you can get back on track faster!

You can get back on track and lose your unwanted pounds. We at Tucson Medical Weight Loss are committed to helping you succeed. Stop thinking and start doing! You are worth it.

*Individual results may vary. Seek medical advice before starting any service including a weight loss program or med spa treatment. Contact us to make sure this is the right solution for you.